Aryeh Ben-Eliezer

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Aryeh Ben-Eliezer
Aryeh Ben-Eliezer.jpg
Date of birth (1913-12-16)16 December 1913
Place of birth Vilnius, Russian Empire
Year of aliyah 1920
Date of death 29 January 1970(1970-01-29) (aged 56)
Knessets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Faction represented in Knesset
1949–1965 Herut
1965–1970 Gahal

Aryeh Ben-Eliezer (Hebrew: אריה בן אליעזר‎‎, 16 December 1913 – 29 January 1970) was a Revisionist Zionist leader, Irgun member and Israeli politician.


Ben-Eliezer (born Lipa Zabrowsky) was born in 1913 in Vilnius in the Russian Empire (today in Lithuania). His family immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1920, and he attended high schools in Tel Aviv. At the age of thirteen he joined Betar and during the 1929 Palestine riots and the 1936 riots he took an active part in the fight for Tel Aviv.[1] Between 1932 and 1939 he served as an emissary for Betar and the Irgun in Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries. In 1933 he was arrested for five weeks under suspicion of being connected to Brit HaBirionim.

On the outbreak of World War II, he was sent on an Irgun mission to the United States and participated in the establishment of the "Committee for the Creation of a Hebrew Army”. Together with Hillel Kook, Ari Jabotinsky, Shmuel Merlin and Yitzhak Ben-Ami, he founded the "Committee for the Rescue of European Jewry" and later on the "Committee for National Liberation".[1]

In 1943 he returned to Palestine on a mission for the Committee for the Rescue of European Jewry. He met with Menachem Begin, who asked him to become a member of the first Irgun General Headquarters. In April 1944 he was once again arrested by the British, and was one of 251 detainees exiled in October of that year to Asmara, Eritrea, where he was the representative of the exiles before the British authorities.[2] In January 1947 he succeeded in escaping with several comrades and made his way to France, where he made arrangements for the Altalena.

In 1948 he returned to the newly declared State of Israel and was among the founders and leaders of the Herut movement. He also helped establish Israel's relations with France. He was elected for Herut to the first through fifth Knessets, and for Gahal to the sixth and seventh. He was a member of the Finance, Economic Affairs, Foreign Affairs & Defense and Internal Affairs Committees, as well as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He was one of the first to propose a referendum as a proviso for crucial decisions, as part of his party's opposition to the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany.

He died in 1970 while still an MK, and was replaced by Gideon Patt. The Israeli settlement of Beit Aryeh was named after him. A prominent street, Rachov Ben Eliezer, in the Israeli town of Ramat Gan is also named in his honor.


  1. ^ a b Lapidot, Yehuda. "Aryeh Ben Eliezer". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  2. ^ "In African Exile". Retrieved 2008-01-07. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Sherman, Arnold (1986). Fire in his Soul: the Life of Aryeh Ben-Eliezer (in Hebrew). ידיעות ספרים. p. 234. ISBN 965-248-070-3. 

External links[edit]